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hello and welcome back to nhk world "newsline." i'm raja pradhan with the news from tokyo. prime minister shinzo abe says the time for japan to talk trade is now. he announced that his country will join negotiations for the transpacific partnership. the agreement would link at least a dozen countries and eliminate the trade barriers
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that divide their markets. >> translator: i finally reached the decision today on joining the trade agreement, which has been dividing public opinion. but before making up my mind, i talked with many people and thoroughly examined the issue from every possible angle. >> abe said government estimates suggest if all tariffs are eliminated among tpp member nations, the japanese economy would benefit. the prime minister said now is the last chance to join the talks. he pointed out that the negotiations started two years ago, and he said it's clear any rules participants have already agreed upon would be difficult to reverse. abe stressed that japan is, for now, just joining the talks. he promised to work out an agreement that suits the nation's interests and use japan's negotiating power to secure protection for certain sectors such as agriculture. abe said many countries are
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opening up their markets, including the u.s., nations in europe and emerging economies in asia. he said if japan misses the opportunity to join the tpp, it will inevitably be left behind. people in japan and abroad have been reacting to abe's decision to join the negotiations. warren maruyama is the former general counsel at the office of the u.s. trade representative. he sees plenty of benefits down the road. >> i think the united states has long wanted japan to join tpp. there are benefits for us from a strategic point of view from the standpoint of u.s./japan alliance. and i think there are economic and trade benefits as well, since, you know, it will lead to a more dynamic japanese economy. that's good for u.s. exports and for trade. it will lead to the removal of some longstanding barriers. that's good for u.s. industrial and financial services and
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agricultural exports. >> chinese officials see things differently. foreign ministry spokesperson hua chunying expressed concern about the tpp expanding without her country's participation. she stressed the process of integrating economies in the asia pacific region must be carried out step by step. chinese leaders have so far been unwilling to participate in the tpp. they're working on another trade deal. they want to expand the free trade zone that covers southeast asian nations, japan, south korea and other countries. and here in japan, lawmakers and business leaders are scrutinizing prime minister's abe's decisions. hiromasa nikura welcomed the move to join the tpp talks. he noted the timing of the decision, which followed the recent japan/u.s. summit. he says it shows abe's strong
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leadership and negotiating capability. 80 opponents of the tpp held a rally in front of the diet building. they included members of a multi-party group of lawmakers. >> translator: the government must not sell our country to the united states without a full explanation to our people. many issues remain unresolved. rally held sit-ins and handed out leaflets to passersby. abe has faced opposition in pushing this through even from within his own party, but party members agreed it wasn't in their best interests to fight. more from nhk world's reik reiko sakurai. >> reporter: abe has faced pressure from all sides in reaching his decision. he has said his number one priority in foreign affairs is strengthening ties with the u.s., and u.s. president barack obama has been urging japanese
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leaders to join the talks. most countries belong to the world trade organization, but the wto's third round of talks has been stalled since 2008 and negotiators have been unable to strike a major deal for years. that leaves japanese leaders with few choices in order to advance free trade with partners in the asia pacific. but they're running out of time. those who have been at the table want to reach an agreement by the end of the year. so the japanese would have to join now if they want to shape the discussions and win some favorable conditions. for example, they want exceptions on eliminating tariffs for rice. u.s. negotiators want a certain grace period for car tariffs. all of this will be determined during negotiations. japanese government officials estimate removing tariffs will
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add 0.66% to gdp growth. some u.s. economists say the advantages would extend beyond that. they estimate additional growth of 2.2% by 2025. critics, particularly those who work in agriculture, say they'll suffer with the competition from abroad erasing any benefits. tpp member nations generally welcome japan's entry. the participation of the world's third largest economy is a potentially bigger market for exporters, but some trade officials are cautious. they say japanese negotiators at the table could slow down the progress. so the japanese could have a hard time winning concessions from their counterparts. a man with humble roots has taken the reins of power in china.
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li keqiang climbed to the top rungs of the political ladder even though he came from outside the establishment. now delegates to the national people's congress have voted him in as premier. >> representatives from across china are meeting in beijing. li replaces wen jiabao, premier for the past decade. li currently holds the second highest position in the politburo standing committee. party leader xi jinping took over as president on thursday, replacing hu jintao. li's appointment almost completes the transition of power. congress delegates will approve the cabinet ministers on saturday. li is 57. he served as deputy to wen jiabao. he's long been seen as a rival to xi for top posts. li is from anhui province, a
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relatively poor area in inland china. he was sent to work in a farming village in his late teens during the turmoil of the cultural revolution. he studied law at prestigious peking university, then joined the party's communist youth league. former president hu was in charge of the league at the time. li followed in his footsteps and later became leader of the group. in 1999, li took charge of the henan region and became china's youngest provincial governor. in 2004, he assumed the top party post of liaoning province. li became a member of the powerful politburo in 2007. party leaders promoted him, along with xi jinping, by two ranks. he became first vice premier the following year, taking charge of energy, social security and other policies. now, china's citizens grew increasingly dissatisfied with the government's handling of a range of problems during wen's ten years in office. now they're waiting to see how li keqiang will steer the
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country into the future. nhk world's michitaka yamaka reports from beijing. >> reporter: the members of the national people's congress overwhelmingly approved li's appointment as premier. wen was known as a leader with a common touch, but li projects a more elite image. li also springs from a different political base than newly elected president xi jinping. some question how much influence li will be able to exert within the government, but one expert suggests that china's approach to leadership is changing along with the names of the people at the top. >> i think the emerging leadership will be more kind of a group leadership rather than the leadership dominated by a charismatic leader.
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so i would not differentiate xi jinping and li keqiang. >> reporter: on the political front, the public is intensifying its demands for freedom of expression. there have also been mass protests against pollution, inequality and corruption. former premier wen often called for political reform, but the issue remained on the back burner during his time in office. li must provide a direction to address this pressing issue. however, takagi says that if li tries to push through reforms, he will face an uphill battle. >> whether or not a new administration or a new leadership can implement these reforms is very difficult to tell because there will be a lot of resistance to this.
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taken in, business leaders within china's communist party might act as the obstacle to the reform because their interests has to be preserved. >> reporter: li will also assume the role of china's chief negotiator with foreign governments, including those that are wary of china. but it remains to be seen whether li can flex his muscles in the international arena as well as on the domestic front. michitaka yamata, nhk world, beijing. well, another challenge li will need to address is a dispute with japan over islands in the east china sea. japanese crews have spent months keeping tabbing over ships in the senkaku islands. now they have released an on-board video showing how they tried to protect the japanese territory. coast guard crew members shot
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the video in late december and early january. the pictures show them warning off a chinese surveillance ship. the chinese got within three kilometers of uotsuri island. they got close enough to issue warnings but far enough away to avoid a collision. >> a former japanese patrol ship captain says the chinese showed defiance by flying their national flag. >> translator: it's unusual for a ship to fly a national flag at the top of its mast. this reflects the will of the government or the captain. >> reporter: the chinese ship left japanese waters after six hours. still, japan coast guard crews have had to stay on their guard. the chinese continually sail near the islands and intrude into japanese waters. south korean officials say
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north korean troops have fired short-range missiles into the sea of japan. they say the north koreans test fired several missiles into international waters. analysts think the missiles were an upgraded version of a soviet model with a range of 120 kilometers. south korean officials say they think the launches were a test of performance, not of provocation. north korean troops conducted live artillery drills this week near the disputed maritime border. south korean military officials are monitoring the area in case they launch more missiles. u.s. and south korean military commanders are trying to show they're ready to deal with any contingency on the korean peninsula. they invited the media to visit a simulation facility in seoul. they're in the middle of an exercise that has sparked strong reactions from north korea. armed forces regularly conduct a
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battle simulation called key resolve in seoul. the exercise is designed to improve chain of command and support capabilities in a context of armed conflict on the peninsula. commanders can follow the virtual maneuvers on a screen, but that part of the facility remains off limits to the media. emerging economic powers still struggling with poverty. emboldened citizens still demanding democracy. the threat of violence, the push for peace, the shadow of conflict. get news and insight on south and southeast asia every weekday, "live from bangkok" only on nhk "newsline." government officials and experts have met in bangkok over the trade in endangered species. the 11-day conference ended on thursday. the delegates for the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora held a plenary session. they voted to restrict the
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international trade of three types of sharks and two species of manta rays, but the illegal trade of wildlife remains rampant. poaching has pushed one animal in cambodia to the brink of extinction. nhk world has more. >> reporter: the pan guilin is the only animal that lives in southeast asia. land development and other factors have shrunk their numbers in recent years. this has prompted their listing as an endangered species. the international trade of the animal the ho pribted. poaching is a problem in the western cam bod ya. this is the area where the pangalen smuggling case is going on until now. the cambodian government and an
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international activist group patrol together. they say they caught a poacher two days ago. poachers often use loop traps. these injured the animal's paws as the rope tightens. chinese buyers pay high prices to use pangalens. poachers use these vehicles to smuggle pangalens and other animals. they found three held in here. poachers can pass inspections because many officers only look inside a car and the trunk. these ngo workers say smuggling remains rampant because people are desperate for money. >> it's too bad, the pangalens
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will always be in danger of extinction if people keep smuggling them to make money. if the situation doesn't change, they'll disappear. >> reporter: authorities suspect poachers, carriers and traders form network, but they still haven't discovered how they operate. 40 years ago the convention on the international trade of endangered species were led out in washington. now the job of its supporters is to coordinate and increase efforts to stop fauna and flora from becoming history. reporting for nhk world. sri lanka's president said his country is slowly recovering after the 26-year-long civil war. but raksawong says a lot of work needs to be done.
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>> after 2009 there were no incidents at all. no killings, nothing like in other countries. >> he was in tokyo this week meeting with government and business leaders. he's looking for support in investment from japan to rebuild his country's economy. he says more jobs must be created for people settling in former tamil strongholds in the north and east. the president denies allegations by the united states and human rights groups that government forces committed serious abuses at the end of the war. >> they should have taken evidence, and after that, they should have written that report. without doing all that, they'll
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just issue a report, a one-sided, biased report. >> he says his government is investigating the allegations. transport officials in thailand are planning to build a high speed rail network across their country. japanese rail operators are hoping to win the contract. they're showing off their technologies in the thai capital to drum up support. officials from the railway company are showing pictures and models of the shinkansen train. the prime minister became a fan of it when she rode it last year. >> i hope we can raise thailand's railways to international standards by learning about japanese system. >> thai officials plan to build high speed rail links between the capital and other cities. they plan to start accepting
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bids as soon as september from firms that want the contract. the japanese are competing with companies in china, germany and south korea. thousands of people waiting to go home. tons of debris waiting for disposal. vast tracts of land waiting to be restored. overcoming the challenges of japan's 2011 disaster won't be easy, but step by step, people are moving forward. find out how on "the road ahead," every wednesday at 1:00 p.m. japan time, right here on "newsline." no one will ever know exactly how much children suffered because of the 2011 disaster in japan. with towns completely washed away and thousands left dead by the earthquake and tsunami, one can only imagine that the scars run deep, but people in the affected areas have gotten on with their lives.
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through music, some people have discovered new things about themselves and about community. ♪ >> reporter: sachi watanabe is a member of the elementary school choir in fukushima prefecture. she likes attending the lessons each day after school. she feels a sense of joy expressing herself through music. >> translator: if it's a happy song, i want people to be happy. when i sing a calm song, i want them to feel the same way. >> reporter: sachi is a survivor of the march 11th disaster. she used to live in a close area
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of soma city in fukushima prefecture. when the tsunami struck, it killed more than 450 townspeople. sachi wasn't at her home when waves came rolling in. she was here at school, up on higher ground. still, ten of her classmates weren't here and they died. fortunately, sachi's parents and sister survived. they spent the first night in her school crowded in with other survivors. whenever an aftershock hit, fear swept through her body. the following day, sachi saw that her town was completely submerged under water. she also found out that her home had been washed away. >> translator: all of my mementos are gone.
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i feel empty. >> reporter: soon after the disaster, sachi had to evacuate to an inland area. this meant starting at a new school and making new friends. it wasn't easy. a music teacher saw sachi was having difficulty fitting in. so yayoi ojima asked her to join the school choir. >> translator: i thought the power of music would help with the healing process. through music, i wanted her to be aware that she is not alone and that she was surrounded by friends. >> reporter: after sachi joined the choir, she became more positive and found that she was enjoying music more than before.
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she soon began dreaming of sharing her love of music with people still in the disaster area. >> translator: there are people who have had as difficult times as i did. i want to help them cheer up through our music. >> reporter: an opportunity came almost two years after the disaster. her city organized a concert. sachi and 50 other children took their places on a stage. ♪ the soothing sounds of traditional children's songs, sachi and her classmates sang with all their hearts.
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in the finale, sachi sang the requiem accompanied by a string orchestra from another elementary school. she said she realized an important thing during the concert. >> translator: i'm not alone. we are all united. i feel a bond with people. >> reporter: music is not just healing the children. it's creating a sense of unity among them, and it's strengthening the bonds within the community. reporting for nhk world, fukushima. the tsunami washed mountains of debris into the pacific ocean. officials with japan's environment ministry say tons will start washing ashore in north america next month. the officials used a computer
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simulation to figure out how quickly the wreckage is moving. they think more than 100,000 tons will reach the north american coastline by june and more than 200,000 tons by october. the officials think that the tsunami swept 1.5 million tons of wreckage into the ocean. some of that wreckage has washed up on coastlines in north america and hawaii. japanese leaders have given $6 million to u.s. and canadian officials to help them deal with it. they say they'll hand over the results of their computer simulation to help communities deal with more. and here are the latest market figures.
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and now three-day outlook on the weather around the globe.

PBS March 15, 2013 7:00pm-7:30pm PDT

News/Business. World events, business news and weather forecasts; broadcast in English. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY U.s. 11, China 9, Nhk 8, Tpp 6, Sachi 6, Newsline 3, Beijing 3, United States 3, Li Keqiang 2, Thailand 2, South Korea 2, Asia Pacific 2, North America 2, Seoul 2, Tokyo 2, Bangkok 2, National Flag 1, Peking University 1, Fukushima 1, Sachi Watanabe 1
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Duration 00:30:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 15 (129 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 528
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

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